PORT PRÍNCIPE . – Haitian police released 33 women who were to be sold, most of them minors, and detained 12 people, authorities said Monday.
The operation took place on Sunday afternoon in a hotel complex about 60 kilometers from Port-au-Prince, after three months of research.
We found 33 girls, of whom 20 minors, piled up in one room and another 12 people, four women and eight men "with what looked like marijuana and cocaine," said Danton Léger, government commissioner, , Whose position is equivalent to that of fiscal of the country.
"Last week we had the information that the girls were going to be sold for 300 dollars each," Léger said. The earliest testimony is that the girls – some 13 years old – were taken to the hotel with the promise of attending a party by the sea.
"There is no doubt: these people are suspected of trafficking in children and sexual exploitation," said National Police spokesman Garry Desrosiers.
The agents seized in the second room a portable computer with pornographic videos, that can demonstrate that "these people were accustomed to this type of exploitation", according to Léger.
Since 2015, any individual found guilty of trafficking in persons may be sentenced to between seven and 15 years in prison and a fine of up to 1.5 million gourdes (about $ 22,000).
Despite this law, Haiti is one of the most trafficked countries, according to the United States, along with Surinam, Burma, Djibouti, Papua New Guinea, Sudan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
The latest US report on the issue published in June 2016 underscored the "minimal efforts" of the Haitian government to identify and assist victims.
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